NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana —
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¼ cup onions (optional)
- ¼ cup chilies (optional)
- Total cost: 30 cents per serving
This is the recipe for Sri Lankan roti. If you live below the international poverty line, around four servings of roti would be the daily food limit. No additional nutrients. No vitamin supplements. Nothing else.
As of 2010, 1.22 billion people lived below the international poverty line. This means they live off $1.25 per day.
Poverty often leads to food insecurity, lack of reliable access to food and malnutrition, lack of vitamins and other nutrients. Limited nutrition can lead to detrimental or fatal health problems that limit opportunities to escape or avoid poverty.
For instance, over one billion people do not receive enough iron in their diets. For women, this can result in over 100,000 deaths in childbirth. Children with anemia experience limited learning and cognitive ability, development and immune systems. When learning and cognitive ability are impaired, this can limit educational opportunities.
Poverty is pervasive and billions of people around the globe are locked into this cycle because of limited opportunities and the lack of basic human rights. Live Below the Line aims to increase awareness of the problem.
Live Below the Line challenges individuals around the world to live on less that $1.50 per day in food and drink. Money saved from spending so little on sustenance goes towards UNICEF and fighting global poverty.
Last year, 20,000 people participated in the Live Below the Line challenge and raised $351, 625. Over the last three years, Live Below the Line has raised $4.4 million with participation in several countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Columbia.
In 2013, money raised by tens of thousands of people participating in Live Below the Line went towards education projects in Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.
The aim of Live Below the Line is to raise awareness and start a conversation about global poverty. Surviving on less than $2 creates an immediate connection between the participant and the impoverished. Though participants only have to eat this way for five days, the experience immediately increases the level of empathy.
Two people may not be in the same country, nor do they have similar lifestyles; but they are both human. Live Below the Line reminds participants that the staggering numbers on poverty are made up of individuals; individuals who are struggling to find the next meal or provide for an entire family. These people are all over the world.
Live Below the Line’s Facebook page reflects the community of activists and advocacy created by this movement. Participants of the challenge give advice to one another and note that meals were repetitive. The food is high in carbohydrates but low on nutrients therefore people felt hungry for most of the day.
In raising money, participants not only gain increased awareness of poverty around the world but spread the knowledge as well. Participants raised hundreds of dollars to contribute. Increased humanization of the problem led to greater participation in solving the problem of poverty.
– Tara Wilson